Durban - As part of its drive to upskill the youth, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development assisted 32 youth to graduate with certificates in cellphone repair technology at the Durban Station Urban Event Space on Tuesday.
Partnering with various stakeholders, the department launched the comprehensive training programme in mobile device repair, aimed at addressing the pressing need for skilled workers and fostering job and business prospects in rural areas and townships.
It said the programme also addressed the industry’s dire need for skilled workers.
“The move will empower young people to create sustainable job opportunities for themselves and contribute to job creation and economic development in their communities,” said the department.
Director-general of the Department, Maphili Mhlongo, who delivered a speech on behalf of MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, said through collaborations with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Vaal University of Technology, and the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa), the youth from disadvantaged backgrounds were successfully certified.
Mhlongo said over the past three months, the determined individuals from Umzinyathi, Ugu and Umkhanyakude embarked on a transformative journey, showcasing perseverance, determination and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
“Equipped with invaluable skills in cellphone repair, these graduates not only possess the capacity to thrive in the digital world, but also to contribute significantly to the growth and development of the province,” she said.
Mhlongo added that the department was committed to continuing its collaboration with Nemisa to provide a national integrated e-skills development approach.
“This will ensure sustainable socio-economic development and significant advancements in digital skills and human capacity for our youth,” she said.
Antoinette Lombard from Vaal University of Technology said Mobile devices had become ubiquitous and critical in communities.
“We need more individuals trained to repair them, as almost everyone has a broken cellphone at home. The importance of proper repair services provided by trustworthy technicians, highlights the intrinsic role cellphones play in people’s lives,” she said.
Lombard added that the university wanted to ensure that its qualified individuals contributed to economic development and job creation in the country.
“Accredited technicians will enhance people’s trust in device security when seeking repair services,” she said.
Mhlongo said the department made a solemn commitment to ensure that no one was left behind.
She said the department recognised the challenges faced by the province of KwaZulu-Natal, particularly the distressing issue of youth unemployment.
The department is dedicated to forging partnerships with the private sector and institutions of higher learning to spearhead transformative initiatives that address youth unemployment, she said.
“The department aims to empower the youth, foster innovation and promote skills development, aligning its efforts with the National Crime Prevention Strategy and collaborating with the National Youth Commission to reduce the number of young people in conflict with the law and promote their overall development.”